When I started this blog, I wasn’t quite sure what I would write about on a day-to-day basis: “Dear Blog, today was a bad day. I sat on my butt and ate four cupcakes.” Or, “Dear Blog, today I walked five miles.” I mean, snooze-fest, right? To be honest, I’m still not sure what to write about, or what form this forum should take, but I think it’s an ever-evolving thing. And what’s going to make a successful blog? That I have no clue. But regardless of who does or doesn’t read this thing, it’s helping me be accountable to me. It’s helping me track my successes and setbacks, helping me notice trends and areas for improvement, and it’s pushing me to do better. Be better.
And when I step on the scale or look in the mirror…that’s all that matters 🙂
Now, I’ve been sharing a lot of recipes on here, and that’s because a) I think cooking and baking are secretly what I was meant to do with my life (good thing I have degrees in English and Philosophy…) and b) developing new and healthy recipes has become so fun for me. I recently was having a rather stressful day, where nothing but chocolate could cure what ails me (ladies, ya feel me?). So I whipped up a batch of my favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookies–but with a twist: I left out the butter completely (knocking out calories and fat), and added 2 Tbsp. of chocolate PB2 powdered peanut butter (adding tons o’ flavor). Give the recipe a try and tell me it doesn’t just solve all of life’s problems.
That same stressful day, I was also craving pasta. I settled for whole wheat linguine with simple marinara and mushrooms, but I wish I had the resources to make this bowl of colorful deliciousness:
This, friends, is my Italian whole wheat pasta salad with vegetables. Super simple, super flavorful, perfect for pot-lucks, summer lunches, or squirreling away to eat by yourself when life just requires large amounts of pasta and cheese. Feel free to use whatever similar veg you like, and play around with the quantities as well.
Italian Vegetable Pasta Salad
Yields: a lot
2 boxes whole wheat pasta (I used rotini and tri-color rotini)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped to 1/2 pieces
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped to 1/2 pieces
1 C broccoli, chopped
1 C cauliflower, chopped
1/2 bunch asparagus, chopped
2 C mushrooms sliced
10-15 mini-mozzarella balls, halved
1/4 C reduced fat parmesan cheese, grated
3/4 C low-fat bacon bits (you can also now find turkey bacon bits!)
3/4-1 bottle fat-free Italian dressing (I use Kraft)
salt and pepper to taste
- In large pot of salted, boiling water, cook pasta to al dente (8-12 minutes). Drain and cool.
- While pasta cools, prep all vegetables and cheese and place in large bowl. Add cooled pasta.
- Toss with dressing to combine, season with salt and pepper to taste and chill for 1-2 hours before serving.
- This salad will last for days. If it starts to become dry, add more dressing and toss to combine.
P.S. Don’t forget to check out my progress on my 21 Day Challenge! It’s going pretty good, guys!